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posted: 3/20/2013 2:17 PM

Endorsements: Vickers, Sobczak, Guttschow, Winkler for District 117 school board

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The four-seat race for Antioch-Lake Villa High School District 117, a two-school district that reaches to the state line, features five candidates. Among the newcomers are Bart Winkler and Geoffrey Guttschow, two solid choices. Winkler has been deeply involved with the booster club at Antioch Community High School. He supports extracurricular programs, believing a well-rounded education goes beyond classroom learning. Guttschow, a police officer, puts his focus squarely on student needs and understands that the board must be involved with teachers and parents. As one of two incumbents in the race, Ron Vickers brings the experience of one term in District 117 plus six years on the Lake Villa Elementary District 41 board, and his financial background is an asset. Longtime board member Wayne Sobczak, whom we endorsed four years ago, is an intelligent, dedicated leader. But his more recent management as chief of the troubled Antioch Rescue Squad gives us pause. In fact we called for his resignation from the squad in August, two months before he retired. His leadership over the ARS has been roundly criticized. Yet his record on the school board is beyond dispute. As president, he has led the board in assembling a top-notch administration, improving the district's fund balances and recently extending the teachers contract by three years. He is proactive and has the benefit of knowledge gained from four terms in office. As long as the ARS mess is not allowed to interfere with his work on the school board, we endorse Sobczak, along with Winkler, Guttschow and Vickers. A final candidate, challenger Nick Ciko, did not fill out a questionnaire or participate in the endorsement process.

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